Penguin, SEO & the Apocalypse

Ian Lurie

SEMPDX invited me to talk penalties at Searchfest 2015 (You should attend 2016, by the way). Here’s my presentation, with some extra explanatory slides:

Bear in mind that the data in here was generated by me, a History major w/ a law degree. So treat them with a healthy grain of salt. You can rely on the overall principles though:

  • Ignore what’s going on around you
  • When link building, balance risk and consequences, not risk and reward
  • When recovering from a penalty, understand that you have to balance speed-to-recovery and conservation of authority

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Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (that's more than 25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team, training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. Wish I had attended, sounds like a great event.
    I would have to agree with you on the manual vs algorithmic argument, we have recovered around 25/30 manual (link based) penalties within 3 months, whereas a number of no message penalty sites have not recovered all of their traffic and its hard to tell in all cases whether it is still penguin having an effect.

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